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Pop Music - Technology and Creativity
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This text draws on the author's personal experience as a musician, producer and teacher of popular music to discuss the ways in which audio technology and musical creativity in pop music are inextricably bound together. This relationship, the book argues, is exemplified by the work of Trevor Horn, who is widely acknowledged as one of the most important, innovative and successful British pop record producers of the early 1980s. In the first part of the book, Timothy Warner presents a definition of pop as distinct from British rock music, and goes on to consider the equipment and working practices that result in the specific characteristics of pop music. Part two analyses seven influential recordings produced by Trevor Horn between 1979 and 1985, revealing how the creative use of technology in the modern pop recording studio has informed Horn's work. These analyses highlight the challenges that pop music poses to the music analyst.
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Table of Contents

Contents: General editor's preface; Introduction; Pop music: Characteristics of pop music: Pop and rock; Pop as a format: the single; Short and sweet; The art of the familiar; Simplicity and repetition; Round and round, like a record; Machine aesthetics; Pop and television; Pop and commerce; Pop and fashion; Let's dance; Image; Mixed media; The production of pop music: An aural art; The recording studio as resource; From analogue to digital; Using technology; Multitrack recording; Signal processing; MIDI sequencing; Sound synthesis and sampling; Recording the voice; The fade-out; The record producer; Technology and creativity: 'Video killed the radio star' by The Buggles: The ghost in the machine; Music; Lyrics; Production and arrangement; Disco killed the radio star; 'Buffalo Gals' by Malcolm McLaren: A charismatic manager; From manager to artist; Applied cultural theory; The anthropological connection; Stylistic collage; 'Buffalo Gals'; Structure; Timbre; Half-heard words; 'Owner of a lonely heart' by Yes: Yes: from prog. rock to chart pop; 90125; A new image; Live/recorded; Chart pop music; 'Owner of a lonely heart'; Form: repetition and suspension; Timbre and gesture; The artificial guitar; The multitracked vocal; Machine drums; 'Relax' by Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Zang Tuum Tumb; Another band from Liverpool; The image; Too much, too young?; The making of 'Relax'; 'Remix, re use it'; Banned; The sound of 'Relax'; A novel approach to musical form; What's the hook?; Repetition in 'Relax'; Who's afraid of the art of noise?: What's in a name?; Who's afraid of the art of noise?; Cover imagery; Sampling; Recording records; Listening to samples; Sampling and the art of noise; Studio made; Timbre; Space; 'Jewel', 'Duel' and 'Jewelled' by Propaganda: Recordings revisited; Propaganda; A Secret Wish: pretentious packaging; From engineer to producer; The music of A Secret Wish; 'Jewel'/'Duel'/'Jewelled'; 'Jewel'/'Duel'/'Jewelled' - the structure; 'Jewel'/'Duel'/'Jewelled' - the sound; Technology and propaganda; Slave to the Rhythm by Grace Jones: Slave to the fashion; Slave to the image; Slave to the cliche; Slave to the Rhythm; 'Re-written by machine'; Concerto for Synclavier; Slave to the sampler; Space; Spatial orchestration; Words; Slave to the remix; Conclusion; Appendix 1. Interview with Trevor Horn; Appendix 2. Trevor Horn discography; Discography; Bibliography; Index.

Reviews

'Highly recommended.' Choice 'The book contains many insights concerning the work of Horn... a transcription of Warner's interview with Horn, opens up a lot of information on the creative processes of Trevor Horn in the studio.' Organised Sound

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